What Should You Learn About Your Baby’s Bowel Movement Frequency?
New parents know very little about a newborn baby’s regular activities. They have no idea about how long babies sleep, how often they eat, and how often they poop. Parents learn everything about babies as they raise them.
You can take better care of your baby if you know how a healthy baby spends his time. The number of newborn stools also reveals a lot about his health and wellness. Therefore, you should gain more information on what the baby’s bowel movement frequency reveals. This post will provide essential information on how the baby’s bowel movement frequency changes as he grows.
How Many Times Newborns Poop?
Most of the parents have one common question and that’s how often a healthy baby poops. The frequency of bowel movement mainly depends on how often the baby eats and also on feeding situations. Continue reading to learn about bowel movement frequency:
1. Meconium frequency
A newborn baby would have greenish poop for the first few days. It is called Meconium, which occurs due to food the baby consumes in his mom’s womb. Meconium frequency varies regularly. The baby can discharge it within the first 9-12 hours after birth. Frequent defecation is important to discharge Meconium.
Babies usually take 3-5 days to get rid of this type of stool. This odorless stool looks dark green in the diaper and it is completely normal for newborns. It is concerning if your baby does not poop within the first 24 hours of birth.
The baby is having troubles discharging congenital malformations of the digestive tract. Further delay can cause fecal obstructions. The baby will need medical attention in such situations.
2. The frequency of breastfeeding babies
If you are breastfeeding your baby, the baby’s bowel movement frequency will be quite flexible. The baby will poop 2-5 times a day during the neonatal period. The baby may also poop after feeding.
Newborn babies face no troubles in digesting their mother’s milk. Breast milk provides all the essential nutrients to the baby and it also improves the performance of the digestive system. Breast milk also reflexes peristalsis as it reaches the baby’s intestine. That’s why most newborns have loose stools more frequently than babies who consume formula milk.
Your baby will gain weight normally and he will stay healthy longer as long as you feed him breast milk. The baby will have no bowel movement-related issues or abdomen pain. It is normal for breastfed babies to poop up to 5 times a day. You should not worry about it.
3. Physiological diarrhea
Some newborn babies can poop 7-8 times a day. It frightens some parents because they get worried about the baby’s health. There is nothing to worry about because it is common for some babies. This situation is known as physiological diarrhea and many health experts consider it a normal phenomenon.
Physiological diarrhea does not last several days. It disappears automatically as the baby grows and it does not occur until the baby is actually suffering from diarrhea! Some babies defecate several times a day and he poops dark green stool with mucus. It indicates that the baby is not full and you should feed him more often than now!
If you are having troubles providing your baby with breast milk according to his diet, you can try formula milk. Add formula milk to the baby’s regular diet to soothe his hunger. Baby’s stool shape and color will get normal if you provide him with a sufficient diet!
4. Formula milk-fed baby bowel movement frequency
If your baby is consuming formula milk, he will have fewer bowel movements than babies who consume breast milk. Most of the formula milk-fed babies have rough, dry, and slightly harder stool like plaster. Some babies may also have difficulty in discharging poop if it gets harder with time.
Parents should keep sharp eyes on the color and texture of stool in diapers. Bowel movements can give you a sign of problems the baby is facing in digesting formula milk. The baby will discharge golden yellow or earthy poop and it will have a bit sour smell. The baby will poop only once or twice a day.
When You Should Worry About Baby’s Health?
Your baby’s bowel movements reveal many important things about his health. Parents should also monitor the daily bowel movements of the baby. You will learn about the baby’s diet and whether or not he is receiving sufficient food.
You can measure how much milk a baby consumes if you are feeding formula milk. It is quite tough to measure how much milk the baby needs if you breastfeed him. Stool’s color and texture reveals whether your baby is having a healthy diet or not.
If your baby does not have normal bowel movements as explained in this post, it can be a concerning situation. Let’s learn about a newborn baby’s abnormal bowel movements to take necessary actions when the baby faces health problems.
The baby poops mucus and undigested food
If your baby is pooping 5-10 times a day and stool contains undigested food with mucus, it is not normal. Most of the parents see egg drop-like shape in the diaper with mucus. It indicates the baby is facing troubles in digesting his food.
Most babies face this problem when they consume powder milk or formula milk. Mothers should immediately change the baby’s diet. You should breastfeed him to improve his health as soon as possible.
If your baby consumes only breast milk and still has abnormal bowel movements, continue his diet and take him to a doctor. The doctor will perform a comprehensive checkup to diagnose the health issue. Your baby will receive proper treatment and his health will improve pretty soon.
The baby does not poop daily
If your baby does not poop at least one time a day, he is not getting adequate food daily. Newborns need sufficient food. If they don’t get ample food, there won’t be less than five wet diapers in a day. The baby can also show the signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes and dry lips.
You won’t like your baby to lose weight or be lethargic. Therefore, you should provide him with ample breast milk to improve his health. Newborns cannot complain about lack of food. The only thing they can do is crying when they are hungry. Understand the signs explained in this post and feed him enough milk to improve his bowel movement frequency.
The baby doesn’t poop throughout the day
Do you know babies can also have constipation? It is true and the American Academy of Pediatrics has researched this topic. If your baby is pooping only one time in a day and stool is hard, it is a sign of constipation.
Most babies cry when they have constipation. They also show signs of strain or they may look a bit reddish due to this health issue. Regular massage and some gentle exercises can help babies. Lay your baby on the bed and move his legs to relieve him. The baby will feel better.
The baby is pooping several times
If your baby poops 10-12 times in a day, it can be diarrhea! The world’s leading health agencies recommend calling a pediatric doctor in such a situation. Your baby will need medical attention if this problem lasts longer than 24 hours.
Some babies can have a fever and cold, which lead to diarrhea and frequent bowel movements. Newborns may discharge loose black stool and sometimes stool is accompanied by blood. It is a concerning situation for the baby and he needs immediate treatment.
Sunken cheeks and eyes also indicate that the baby is suffering from diarrhea. Increased pooping frequency and other signs of diarrhea suggest that your baby needs treatment. So, take him to the doctor to give him the necessary medication for quick relief.
Two or more blood stools
There is nothing as serious as blood in the stool. If you see blood in your baby’s diaper, he is certainly facing serious health issues. Some babies discharge dark black or bloody stool and it can have a sour smell. Take your baby to the doctor for immediate treatment.
Sometimes babies have little blood in their stool. If you see two or more diapers containing blood stool, take your baby to the doctor. Further stool checkup will reveal what health problem is troubling your baby.
A newborn baby’s diet and food demands change as he grows older. Mothers should only feed breast milk to babies until they are 6 months old. You can add other food sources to his diet after six months. The baby will be mature enough to digest complimentary meals at that age.
The baby will have only 2 or 3 bowel movements if he is healthy. If your baby poops more than five times, you should check his nappy. Look for the signs of health problems. See a doctor immediately if you spot any sign of a health issue.